Food Freaks Unite's Blog

It's all about food!

A Waffle Like No Other..The Liege Waffle ~ The Gaufre Gourmet December 4, 2011


Milk & Honey Waffle

Liege Waffle: Named after the city of Liege in Eastern Brussels.  It is dough based rather than batter based which creates a denser and chewier waffle than the traditional variety.  It is also smaller in size and sweeter in nature due to the incorporation of pearl sugar in the dough.  Once baked, the sugar creates a hint of caramelization on the outside and crunchy bits of sweetness in the inside. 

The Gaufre Gourmet waffle cart introduced me to these magical waffles when they moved from their location in Chinatown to the Green Castle Food Court located in inner NE Portland this past June.  (Note: They have since moved to SW 9th and Alder due to Green Castle closing up entirely).  I happened to get a sample on their grand opening day and told the owner I would be back the next day to buy one with a co-worker.  (I ended up coming back there twice that day which didn’t surprise her because  their waffles “have that effect on people”). 

My co-worker ordered the Milk & Honey waffle with goat cheese mousse, honey roasted pistachios and balsamic caramel sauce.  He was blown away with the first bite and said it reminded him of cheesecake.  I got a chance to sample it and it was savory yet sweet but not overly so. 

I, on the other hand, went a little overboard and ordered the Chunky Monkey made of nutella, bananas, balsamic caramel and candied pecans.  I added chunky peanut butter to make it even more decadent!  I definitely got a lot of people staring at my concoction as I walked around to find a place to eat it.  I think it weighed a least a pound and I managed to eat all of it even though it took me about an hour to do it.  Surprisingly, the waffle part didn’t get all mushy or soggy due to the protective layer of carmelized sugar on the outside. 

I went back there 2 days later and ordered a plain one that was served with only a dusting of powdered sugar.  It was just as good without all the toppings.  My only concern is every waffle I eat from this moment on will be compared to the liege style ones and very few will make the cut to waffle greatness.  I know this because I went on vacation to Canada and had to google liege waffles to find a place that makes them because a regular one wasn’t going to satisfy my waffle cravings.  Yup, they are that good!

Chunky Monkey

Location: SW 9th and Alder

Cost: Milk and Honey $6/ Chunky Monkey w/ additions $6.50


Sweet Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold October 5, 2011

Sweet Revenge Patisserie is a cozy dessert spot located in East Vancouver BC which I’ve been dying to go to for years but their 7 pm opening time kept getting in the way until now.  I’ve peaked in the window and salivated at their menu many an afternoon just trying to get a sense of what I’m missing out.  I’m happy to say that I can finally cross this establishment off my “must go to” list after a recent trip this past summer and a dedicated effort to actually take time to go back there during the evening.  We arrived early so our wait wouldn’t be long and we managed to get a table right away and were eager to finally try their dessert. 
Sweet Revenge is an intimate space with lush decor to take in while you wait for your order.  It reminded me of a quaint cafe I might come across if I was strolling along the streets of Paris and just happened to wander in.  The design certainly fits that style and if you’re lucky, you may just hear some Edith Piaf songs playing in the background while you sit back enjoy the sights, sounds and flavors. 
The menu is filled with homemade artisan desserts along with a selection of teas/coffees/wines and spirits.  I was hoping to share a dessert called “The Smooth Operator” which was a chocolate sponge cake layered with mascarpone cheese icing and fresh raspberries, topped with white chocolate shavings and drizzled with raspberry coulis.
Another table ordered it and it seemed too large for me to finish on my own so I opted for the Zuccotto, a domed cake layered with liqueured soaked sponge cake and layers of fresh berry mousse and chocolate mousse and covered with ganache.  This dessert was perfect.  It wasn’t too heavy and the fresh berry mousse was refreshing on that warm summer day.  The cake was moist and the ganache was great.  I’ve had to peel ganache away from cake if the consistency was more like fondant because who really eats fondant anyways?   The ganache had a nice smooth texture with just the right amount of chocolate and sweetness to compliment the dessert rather than overpowering it with dark chocolate flavor. Your fork should never take off the entire top layer when you take a piece of it so I knew this was ganache done right.   My friend ordered the tiramisu which was rich and deliciously creamy, the kind of dessert you really relish every spoonful you put in your mouth and then scrape every bit off the dish before you relinquish the plate.  All the hype surrounding this place is well deserved and I would definitely go there again.  The prices are reasonable and the ambiance is charming.  My only complaint was the lone server who was noticeably stressed out by the amount of work he had to do on his own.  They really need to know that people will wait for good food but when you see the staff showing signs of distress and then having it affect their service then it takes away from the overall experience.  No need to stress over dessert!



Location: 4160 Main Street Vancouver BC V5V 3P7   Phone: 604.879.7933
Cost: Zuccotto $5.55 and Tiramisu $7.15 plus tax


The Best Coconut Cake August 25, 2011

Filed under: Dessert,Food,My Favs — Food Freaks Unite @ 4:20 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Don't share this!

Every once in a while I’m blown away by something so delicious that I begin salivating just thinking about it.  Ladies and gentlemen …let me introduce you to one of the best coconut cakes I’ve ever eaten.  Ever? Yes ever.  I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I did but it has now become “the” coconut cake against which every coconut cake I consume from this point on will be compared to. It is incredibly light and airy, a chiffon sponge cake like consistency, with pastry cream in the middle, topped with flaked coconut and presented with raspberry sauce which takes it to a completely different deliciousness level.   

Locations: Ohana Hawaiian Cafe, 6320 NE Sandy Blvd Portland Oregon /10608 SE Main St Milwaukie Oregon

Cost: $6

Ohana Hawaiian Cafe on Urbanspoon


My First Lamington ~ Pacific Pie Company July 29, 2011

Filed under: Dessert,Food — Food Freaks Unite @ 4:20 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Lamington: A traditional Australian dessert in the shape of a cube.  Made of sponge cake that is coated with chocolate icing then sprinkled with coconut.  An optional filling of  jam or cream can be in between the layers of sponge cake. 

I consider myself a dessert aficionado but I’ve never even heard of these cakes before the fine folks at Pacific Pie Company brought these to my attention and expanded my dessert portfolio.  I’m already a  huge fan of their savory and sweet pasties and pies so when the staff told me about their upcoming Australian Day specials, I came back the next day to try them out.

I have to say I really liked this cake.  I saved half of it for the next day and ended up eating it for breakfast with my coffee which complimented perfectly with the cake.  Why did I only eat half you might ask?  Anyone who knows me can attest that I rarely leave any leftovers where dessert is concerned but this time I went all Miss Piggy and bought a peanut butter pie too.  But back to the lamington…I would have personally wanted more jam filling but overall, it was a good dessert that I’m glad I got the chance to try.  It isn’t overly sweet so I’d probably eat it again for a breakfast snack rather than something to satisfy my sweet tooth.  For that, I would get their dreamy creamy peanut butter pie.  I’ve tried to only eat half of that pie but I have yet to be successful.  Yes, it’s just that good. 

Location: 1520 SE 7th Portland Oregon 503-381-6157


Cost: $3.50 if they keep it on their regular menu otherwise come back on Australia Day (January 26th)
Pacific Pie Company on Urbanspoon


Pavlova ~ Sweet Carrie’s Dessert Shop July 4, 2011


Pavlova: a dessert of Australian and New Zealand origin consisting of a meringue shell topped with whipped cream and usually, fruit.

This is one of my all time favorite desserts (yes, I have many) and yet I have no idea where to find it in Portland.  I can get a similar – but not quite the same – tasting meringue type concoction at Papa Hydn but it’s the fru-fru upper class version and although the taste is similar, it is texturally different and therefore is a let down if you are expecting a pavlova.  The texture difference is made possible with the addition of cornstarch and vinegar that is not typically found in a regular meringue recipe. The Papa Hydn version is solid meringue that has that crunch throughout and is served with chocolate drizzle and raspberry sauce.  A pavlova on the other hand, has a delicate crispness on the outside but it is moist on the inside with a texture that is similar to a marshmallow.   It is topped with a bit of fresh whip and seasonal fruit.  

So where do I get my pavlova fix? I stop by Sweet Carrie’s Dessert Shop located on the lower level on Londsdale Quay in North Vancouver.  I visit friends there as often as I can so this is always a pit stop for me when I am in town.  A very nice Asian couple run this place and the pavlova is by far their most popular item. The individual sized desserts may disappear out of the display case before they can replenish it but just ask them to make one and they will happily do so in a flash.  They also sell larger sizes (roll and full cake sizes) if you need to feed several people. 

I’m posting this entry to my blog on July 4th because I’ll be in Canada taking advantage of this American holiday and most likely eating this very dessert.  I’ve been looking forward to this for months.  Oh pavlova how I missed you….

Location: Lower level Lonsdale Quay 123 Carrie Cates Court North Vancouver BC Canada  (604) 987-7843

Cost: $3.05 Cdn + 12% HST


In Search Of A Holy Cannoli Moment ~ Peruvian Style June 20, 2011

Filed under: Dessert,Food,My Favs — Food Freaks Unite @ 4:20 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Holy Cannoli!

My Mission: Try to find cannoli in Portland Oregon
Why?: My reasons are two-fold: The first being cannoli is generally difficult to find so it is a small victory in and of itself when I get a chance to actually eat one.  Secondly, they are just so freaking awesome!
Traditional Cannoli: A Sicilian dessert of tube-shaped shells of fried dough which is then filled with a sweet creamy mixture containing ricotta cheese. The ends can be left plain or dipped in pistachio (my preference) or chocolate chips. 
Cannoli is one of my favorite desserts so if I see it offered on a menu I will order it.  I can find a great version of it ~with a twist~ at  Andina, a Peruvian restaurant in the Pearl District of Portland Oregon.  This is one of my favorite places to eat because it offers interesting drinks, meals and tapas made with many ingredients I have never heard of.  I learned early on to always save room for dessert because they have a great selection to choose from and they do it so well.  I’ve tried almost all of them and I do prefer some over others but I liked each one I’ve tried.  The first dessert I ever ordered there was the cannoli. I was floored to see it on their menu.  Cannoli at a Peruvian restaurant? Say what? I don’t really expect to find it in most Italian restaurants much less a Peruvian one.  I was intrigued from the start and was not disappointed with this dessert.  Andina makes their version with a crisp quinoa studded shell filled with passionfruit mousse and serves it with a  mango-lemongrass sorbet and caramel.  OHH MYY MYY GOODNESS GOOD.  It is pretty spectacular and a great finish to any meal. It’s almost too pretty to eat…almost. 
Location: 1314 NW Glisan Portland Oregon
Cost: $7.50
  Andina on Urbanspoon

The Best Bread Pudding in Portland and Quite Possibly The World June 1, 2011


That’s right I said it.  The best in the world!  Well at least in Portland Oregon.  The Sapphire Hotel’s version of bread pudding is the best I’ve ever eaten (sorry mom) and until my dream of travelling around the world and eating every kind of bread pudding there is to try then my statement will hold true.  The bread that they use is a cinnamon sugar variety that is so light and airy. It is topped with spiced rum caramel sauce, whip cream and candied walnuts.  It is simply amazing.  The size is large enough to share with another person if you so choose.  I normally dislike sharing desserts but they offer such a large portion that in this particular instance it’s ok in my book.

An extra added bonus is the Sapphire is one of my favorite places in town.  The menu (pictured below) has three words written on it that should be my motto for life.  Eat Drink Kiss.  Brilliant isn’t it?  It is a cozy spot to have happy hour or a late night drink.  Just be aware that the later you stay… the more PDA!!  There are couples making out wherever you turn. Ugh.  I know their menu says “kiss” on it but prolonged exposure to watching PDA can ruin a good vodka high.  I wouldn’t know this personally though, I heard it from a friend 🙂  If you want to be distracted from it all,  might I suggest turning your attention to the lovely bar staff and you’ll forget all about the smug couples that surround you.  Tristan and Kyle are my favorites and although Tristan is currently not there I am holding hope that he returns to Portland and resumes his job there.  If you’ve ever had a chance to talk to him you’ll know why.  Yes, he is that nice and he made going there that much better. 

But in the meantime, try the bread pudding.  You won’t be disappointed. 

***Update: The bread pudding goes on a seasonal change and the one I’m referring to is the fall/winter variety.  They need to stop this kind of nonsense.  Keep this one on the menu and add another for seasonal ingredients but don’t get rid of what is clearly the superior tasting one entirely***


Words to live by...

Location: 5008 SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland Oregon 97215

Cost: $7



Sapphire Hotel on Urbanspoon